Dear you. Find the following scenario relatable? Put your name in it, know you’re not alone, and take heart.
She stood on the mountaintop, surveying the journey ahead of her as the golden sun beat down on her tired face.
Now what? She had no perfectly-planned itinerary to view before she continued on. Truth be told, that was exactly what she craved at the moment: something or someone to tell her the exact order of events and their outcomes.
Something or someone to keep her from one of her biggest enemies: failure.
There was no telling what was waiting for her around the next corner. In her state of fear and uncertainty, the rocks and thorns beneath her feet seemed to mock her with no mercy.
Why had she signed up for all of this in the first place? Or had she signed up at all? Shouldn’t someone more qualified be in her shoes right now? Everyone else seemed to know what they were doing. Or did it just appear that way?
Her questions hung heavy and unanswered in the atmosphere that surrounded her.
Not too long ago, things had appeared different to her. Perhaps more reliable and predictable. But things had taken a sudden turn. The scenery was different than she was expecting, and the route suddenly looked much different than she had first hoped for.
And what else had changed since that moment of clarity?
Regretfully, she kicked at a loose rock nearby, hanging her head in confusion and shame.
In a moment of pride and stubborn ignorance, she had turned her attention from the wisdom of her Guide and blazed on ahead. Perhaps it had been when the going was easy and the problems were few.
But only now did she realize the magnitude of her mistake.
Standing at the top of this mountain, where the breezes carried scents of things both bitter and sweet, she faced yet more decisions. More forks in the road.
Ahead of her lay several different paths, all leading her in a different direction. But which one was she to take?
She dreaded making yet another bad choice. In the atmosphere of isolation and solitude that surrounded her, everything seemed to hang heavy, including the load on her back.
This was too much. Things hadn’t turned out like she had thought they would.
With a heaving sigh, she turned her back on every single path in front of her and chose instead to set foot on the one behind.
Maybe if she turned back and retraced her steps, she could recover what had been lost and redo the areas in which she had failed.Maybe she could even find someone more qualified to take her place in the journey.
In any case, the unknown future looked overwhelming. Too big for someone so small.
In desperation, she cupped her hands to her mouth and called, “Hello? Anybody around? Where’s my Guide? Can someone help me?”
Not expecting a reply, she jumped at the sound of rustling brush and a voice that came back with a calm, gentle answer.
Could it be? Yes, it was! It was the Guide Himself!
Hastily, she began to explain, “I’ve decided to turn back. The path ahead looks too complicated and complex for me. Perhaps you should find someone else for this journey You had in mind.
“It’s turning out different than I was expecting, and it seems to require someone more qualified than I.”
She studied the ground beneath her feet and waited for His response.
“Wait. There’s something you’re not understanding,” He began, “There’s no one more qualified for this journey than you. This is your journey. One of those paths you have not yet taken leads you to your destination.
“But since you’re already turned towards the past, let’s stop and take a look at it.”
Reluctantly, she gave in and followed his gaze to the miles that had already been covered.
“Child,” He continued, “Think back to the place where it all started. Remember who you were back then? Remember how it all began?”
She squinted her eyes, half in deep thought and half in attempt to look back as far as she could.
So much had happened since then. It was hard to get a clear picture in her mind of where it had all started, but there was one thing she knew; she was different. Things were different. Understanding began to enlighten her face and spark in her eyes.
Her Guide smiled knowingly and stated, “Look at you, child. You’ve grown. You’ve changed. Has everything been easy? Most definitely not.
“But look at what each of those circumstances have done for you. They’ve played a role in shaping who you are today. They’ve challenged you. Strengthened you. Equipped you.”
With curiosity, she inquired, “Equipped me for what?”
“That’s what you’re about to find out. If you choose to follow me.”
“So you’re not looking for someone more qualified?”
“No, child. This is your journey. Not someone else’s. To have me as your Guide says you’re qualified.
“You can choose to hang back and dwell on the past, but that’s as far as you’ll get. You can’t change it. Do you know what you can do? You can follow me and keep moving forward in faith.”
With deepest compassion, He extended His hand and the invitation, “There are good things waiting, but we must keep travelling to get there. It won’t all be easy, but I can promise you it will be worth it. Now, will you come?”
Yes. It was a for sure yes. She would leave her expired travel plans behind and come.
She reached for His hand and rose to her feet. His grip was strong and His step was sure, and it was then that she knew; she couldn’t have asked for a better Guide. Everything really would be okay and worth it after all. With Him, there was strength, and there was enough.
And what was this strange new sensation rising within her chest? Why, she was excited! Full of anticipation.
There was something almost exhilarating about the unknown. Before them lay a wealth of opportunity and adventure, right in amidst the trials and tough going.
With a spring in her step, she looked up, smiled, and stated with deepest of sincerity, “I trust You, and You are good.”
And with equal sincerity, he replied, “I love you, and you will be blessed.”
And so they went. Onward.
So can you, my dear friend. So can you. For with Him all things are possible. Hallelujah.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9